These immune boosters aren’t just old wives’ tales—they have solid research behind them.
Garlic: People who took garlic supplements during a three-month period had fewer colds than those who took a placebo, according to a 2014 study. Another study found a 30 percent reduction in the risk of colon cancer among people who ate a lot of raw or cooked garlic.
Alcohol: Research suggests that moderate drinking (usually defined as one drink a day for women) helps the immune system. But binge drinking is different: Adults who downed five vodka shots had drops in disease-fighting white blood cells within hours, a 2015 study found.
Apples: The fruit is rich in soluble fiber, a substance that seems to improve immunity, per a University of Illinois study. Researchers found that mice given this type of fiber got half as sick as mice that weren’t given any; and they recovered 50 percent faster.
Chicken soup: It contains carnosine, an amino acid compound that helps your body fight off flu in the early stages, says a study in the American Journal of Therapeutics. Other research has shown that the homemade kind has a mild anti-inflammatory effect.